Had an amazing time participating in the Christmas Benefit Concert in Long Beach, California last weekend. It has been a while since I have performed in front of a fairly large audience before, there were about 100+ attendees. They were grooving to the music and seemed to be entertained! The band and I performed a total of 13 songs as I had my solo performance singing “It Came Upon a Midnight Clear”. Even though I was nervous, I had so much fun. I was afraid I would freeze up and forget my lyrics, but instead I tried to live in the moment, and things just flowed naturally. As evident by the audience’s reactions, it seemed they enjoyed the show as well. It was so nice to hear them applaud after every performance and only reminded me of how much power music has in connecting a group of people.
I also had the chance to get to know more of the band members considering I only rehearsed a total of two times with them prior to the show. I currently don’t have any footage of the performance or any part of the show, but am glad to share them once I have access to them 🙂 As if the concert couldn’t get better… Aretha Franklin’s old manager, H.B. Barnum also performed alongside his choir, who sounded so beautiful! I even had the chance to meet Motown singer Brenda Holloway as pictured below. She sounded like an angel and had a beautiful gown on ! When I met her, she was so sweet and down to earth. There were also bell players too who sounded amazing, adding to the Christmas spirit as well. Again, feeling so blessed and grateful to have been a part of this show. It only left me feeling incredibly inspired to do more in the future.
Been such a blessing to have the opportunity to teach music to children. In the last few months, I have been teaching a weekly music class to children ranging from 3-7 years old. It’s amazing and fulfilling experience to witness such malleable, high energy (though restless) and curious minds at play. As a music teacher, I coordinate a weekly agenda oriented around both music and early childhood education. A typical class agenda would entail using instruments such as microphones, drums, portable piano, xylophone, hand bells, tambourines, etc. It brings me joy to see students be excited to recognize/ use the instruments and apply themselves in music by memorizing lyrics by heart and singing Do-Re-Mi. I also incorporate other activities such as story time, something in my box, freeze dance, Oompa Loompa basketball challenge, and more. Such activities are designed to activate their listening skills while also letting their wiggles out through physical activities as well.
Depending on the theme of the course, I also make sure to stay spontaneous in my classes by switching up and rotating activities so that the children stay engaged and aren’t bored by the same agenda. The best part of being a teacher is getting to know each child as every child is different. It’s not only about teaching them, but also learning from them I find is the most valuable asset of being a teacher. Every class I learn on the job and find their company, entertainment, and learning development the most rewarding of all. Again, so blessed to have been given the opportunity to make music more relevant and hopefully an outlet for kids who need it and may event carry it the rest of their lives. Pictures very very soon!
Been following the Netflix Series Rhythm & Flow, which I had touched upon my other post. It’s incredible how much hidden talent there are waiting to be discovered. One of the many is the one and only D Smoke, representing West Coast Inglewood, California and was crowed the winner of Rhythm & Flow. This means he sealed a whopping $100,000 and secured a spot on Spotify’s Rap Caviar. After researching his background (of course), D. Smoke’s real name is Daniel Farris. He is a graduate of UCLA and a teacher at his alumni high school Inglewood High. His EP Inglewood High discusses his personal experience as a teacher and his experience living in an area destitute such as Inglewood. It’s amazing to hear him express himself through his artistry to see what he truly is about as an artist. I root for him because to me, he is a true artist. He is original, raw, and real — elements I hope to emulate in my own art as an aspiring vocalist. Not only was he well prepared but well intentioned in his approaching of stealing the show. He raps, plays piano, is bi-lingual, and most importantly ‘woke’ and educated apparent in the way he crafts and delivers his material. He is about something, serving music with substance and weight. Check out his EP available on Spotify and all platforms. Check out his finale on Rhythm & Flow that got him first place. Promise he won’t disappointment.
I have been following NAO for a while, and I absolutely love the vibe/aesthetic of her music. I am rooting for her all the way. Check her out her newest album Saturn (2018) if you haven’t. Read more about her here. New music from her album below.
Neo Jessica Joshua (born in December 1987), better known as Nao (/ˈneɪ.oʊ/), is an English singer-songwriter and record producer from East London Her sound has been described as soul combined with electronic music, funk and R&B. Nao coined the term “wonky funk” to describe her style. She released her debut album, For All We Know, in 2016, and her second album, Saturn, in 2018. (Nao singer, n.d, para. 1)
Instrumental from Alicia Keys “Unthinkable”
♫ Pen on my paper, always on my grind Imma switch it up cause I need a peace of mind I write this rap shit, dumb shit, cause I say what’s in my heart to me, it’s more than numbers, it’s all a work of art
When I wake up in the morning, the anxiety over take me I shut my demons up, ain’t no one going to break me They look at me and doubt me, but don’t know a thing about me They wanna talk like they know me homie better get up off me
I keep my head low and work hard in silence I ain’t with that loud shit, that shit just violent pops always told me to not speak to loud never was one to follow the crowd
If there’s one thing I’ll tell ya don’t doubt the misunderstood because they’ll do it better thank you think you ever could ♫
So excited to announce my new site as an upcoming music artist/ vocalist. I am currently working on new projects, writing new material, developing my craft/ sound/ presentation while planning collaborations with some amazing artists in the near future. I have been graced with amazing guidance so far that I am only excited for the future. This is a perfect time for me to experiment with my sound and create the projects I have always been anticipating and dying to create. You will most definitely find new updates on my site very soon, as well as more content on my music instagram as well.